Cray Wanderers 2
Kedze 45, Hunt 79
Dereham Town 3
Hawkins 12, Kay 47, Bussens 90+3
A goal deep into stoppage time sent the Wands to a disappointing defeat against Dereham Town and dashed their hopes of narrowing the gap at the bottom of the table. Cray had twice come from behind during the game only to lose the game right at the end against a very lively and inventive Dereham Town side.
The Wands made two changes to the side which drew against Ware with Tyrone Berry and Kery Kedze coming in for Adrian Stone and Hussein Isa.
Cray suffered a blow early in the game when Michael Phillips went off injured to be replaced by Isa.
After a quiet start to the game Dereham took the lead after 12 minutes when Ryan Hawkins strolled out from the back into midfield and his purposeful run ended with a shot from around 20 yards which crept into the bottom corner of the net.
Cray looked to get back into the game straight away and Isa’s shot from a similar distance went just wide of goal and Nathan Simpson’s shot wildly over the bar.
Cray were indebted to Darren Behcet who made three saves in quick succession after Ryan Crisp was put through and his shot was saved and the follow up fell to Craig Bussens whose shot was parried again by Behcet and the loose ball was palmed away by the keeper. Behcet also did well later in the half when he blocked a shot from Hawkins from just inside the box.
Chances for Cray were few and far between with the best probably falling to Laurent Hamici from Isa’s through ball and as he moved into the area his attempted shot was cleared for a corner.
Dereham had another chance to score five minutes before half time when substitute Toby Hillard chipped a shot which went narrowly wide.
Just as the half seemed to be petering out Cray levelled the scores thanks to the persistence of Tyrone Berry. His good run down the left took him just inside the area and following a poor clearance which gave the ball back to him, his cross then picked out Kedze who struck home a composed finish for his first goal for Cray.
Half Time: 1-1
Cray got off to a poor start to the second half when the visitors re-took the lead two minutes after the restart. A corner was cleared as far as Aaron Kay out on the left who hit a curling shot into the top corner of the net.
Dereham would pretty much dominate the next twenty minutes and a free kick from Kay was met by Jay Eastoe-Smith whose effort was tipped over by Behcet. Then Bussens cross just evaded the onrushing Hillard as Dereham continued to impress with their attacking play.
For Cray, Tyrone Berry hit a shot well over the crossbar and from Isa’s corner Shaun Welford met the ball with a strong header but a combination of keeper Andy Wilton and good defending blocked the attempt.
Cray kept plugging away and drew level again on 79 minutes when Alex Stavrinou’ s corner reached Welford whose first touch seemed to take him away from goal but again a poor Dereham clearance fell to Ben Hunt just inside the area who struck home a great finish for his first goal for Cray.
The game became very scrappy for the last ten minutes and Cray couldn’t really get the ball down to try and play their way in for a winner.
Dereham almost scored again when Hawkins’ cross shot parried by Behcet for a corner. The game looked to be heading for a draw as the game entered stoppage time.
However, three minutes into stoppage time Cray were unable to keep the ball and gave possession away deep in their own half and Adam Smith ran on and passed to Bussens whose cross-shot was possibly deflected wide of Behcet and into the net for a heartbreaking finish to the game.
Cray: Darren Behcet, Cesc Fakinos, Nathan Simpson, CJ Williams (Dmitri Larin, 70), Max Fitzgerald, Alex Stavrinou, Alex Stavrinou, Tyrone Berry, Michael Phillips (Hussein Isa, 8), Shaun Welford, Laurent Hamici (Ben Hunt, 62), Kery Kedze:
Subs: Adrian Stone, Gary Beckett
Booked: Fitzgerald, Welford, Stavrinou
Dereham: Andy Wilton, Ryan Hawkins, Luke Hannatt, Matt Hockley, Matt Howard, Jay Easton-Smith, Aaron Kay, Lewis Sturman (Adam Smith, 54), Ryan Crisp (Toby Hillard, 37), Craig Bussens, Nathan Page (Louis Mason, 76)
Referee: Paul Greenfield
Assistants: William Davis, Clifton Richards